Awkward Start to My Week

14 October 2019: 7:40am

Driving in reverse, turn and put car into forward, surprised to see neighbor Kevin with his dog, Max. We have met a few times when walking our dogs on the road. He had once thanked me for driving a Nissan, as he works there. 

Our driveway is a sixth of a mile long. This guy walked nearly all the way down it, past two “no trespassing” signs. I figured he was bringing Max to play with Teddy. I rolled down my window, and this conversation ensued: 

Me: Good morning! Hello doggo! (reaches to pet Max, the extremely friendly rescue pitbull). Are you coming to visit Teddy?

Kevin: Did you lease that? (pointing at my car)

Me: No, I bought it. It is used, had been a lease before. Are you here to visit Teddy?

K: I don’t even know who lives here! (waves his arms around, indicating our yard, house, woods)

Me: _I_ live here. We’ve met before, this is Max and you’re Keith?

K: Kevin.

Me: (I nod. Max tries to reach me and scratches my car door.) No, get down.

K: How come no one has memories anymore! (waving his arms again) None of this will be here in 100 years.

Me: It was my husband’s grandmother’s place, we bought it from his father and uncle. My husband, Chris. You’ve met him.

K: How big is it?

Me: 6 acres.

K: Wow.

Me: Yes, we wanted to keep it (I meant to say “in the family” but said “open” instead.)

K: For what this place is worth, you could move all this (he points at the house) anywhere you want it.

Me: Ha! THIS IS where we want it.

K: I am looking to invest.

Me: Have a nice day!

K: Good luck.

 

WEIRD way to start my week.

Autumn Equinox, or Mabon 21 September 2019

This holiday really is a Southerner’s favorite. Sure, the South loves Christmas enough to put their tree up in July, but nothing makes South happier than cooler weather. If my social media feed is any indication, anticipation of this event begins after the first hot day in May.

What is this holiday, besides a lead up to Halloween? It is our second harvest festival. Apples, grapes, gourds and nuts are ripe. Time to make jam, pickles, wine, and roast pumpkin seeds. The grain mills that were busy after Lammas have churned out flour, so it is a great time for baking pies. The Horn of Plenty spills over. People who turned their Lammas grain into beer can spill over too. #tipsy So you have both products of the first harvest, and the second harvest’s crops. Quite the cornucopia.

The Horn of Plenty was Amalthea’s horn, the goat who suckled baby Zeus when Rhea hid him from his power-crazed, baby-eating father Cronus. Zeus blessed the horn so that it would always provide food for its owner. It was later gifted to Heracles after he fought with the ocean naiad Achelous over, of course, the love of a woman. It is hard to say if Greeks enjoyed fighting more or less than they enjoyed love. But goats undeniably filled an important role in their agriculture, and I understand that our football season has also begun. #fightfightfight

At Mabon as at Oestara, daylight and nighttime hours are equal. The dust of summer is damped down by leaves and heavier dew. It can be fun to have a bonfire or enjoy lighted candles. Wiccans love to cut an apple laterally and show their children the star shape that the seed pods make. Persimmon seeds get cracked open to see if they have a “spoon” shape. I do not remember what that signifies, but people like to see it.

Metaphyisically, take a look at the projects you are working on. Can you finish any of them in a day? Can you finish them in the six weeks before Samhain? Look and those you have completed, simply to enjoy the accomplishment. In a fast-paced world, it is easy to forget what we have gotten done.

When I was a child, Autumn was a months-long season. Now, Autumn is disappearing into the heat of Global Warming and its effect of Climate Change and its mild temperatures occur briefly. Summer’s heat lingers, or the polar vortex gets pushed south and brings early frost or rain at really bad times. If nothing else compels you to act to fight Climate Change, maybe you would be motivated to Save Autumn?

Letter to City Planners

Hello ,

I am the property owner and resident at (0000) Asbury Road, next door to two properties that have been sold to the developer Landmark. I attended the developer’s meeting last week, and I have these specific concerns:

Flood plain:

Landmark’s development plan includes six homes on the western side of these properties, in flood plain of Overall Creek. They plan to raise or build up at least some of this ground. I have serious concerns about this plan.

Has there been a recent study of Overall Creek’s flood patterns, a study within the last 5 years? Overall creek flooded over 12 feet, reaching well up onto my property in February 2019. It flooded at least 10 feet once in 2018, and twice the year before that. I can show you those flood water levels on my property, if you need to measure.

Overall Creek behaves much differently now that the woods upstream are nearly gone. The riparian zones may have been preserved, but the acres of woodlands in the watershed that used to soak up rainfall are now mostly gone. The city and/or county needs to re-evaluate Overall Creek’s flood plain levels and floodway.

I do not need to tell you that flowing water is a tremendous force. This artificial elevation that Landmark plans to make will wash out. Eddying will undercut and washout my land, and possibly slump onto my property.

Moreover, the development’s lowest 4 homes at least will flood. Landmark should seriously consider the effect this would have on their reputation.

Upstream, that elevation would effectively dam the creek, flooding homes (0000 0000 0000) on Dixie Lane and in Spring Creek development. Those homes are currently in less danger from floodwaters.

Water mains: Mine and my neighbor north of me (0000 Asbury Road) have our water mains on the easternmost of the two properties that has just sold. We need the city to either relocate both of these water mains, or the new development’s HOA to maintain our easement. Those lines and mains need to be protected during and after the builders’ work on the site.

Trees on fence line: My fence around my eastern, southern and western border is dependent on the trees growing there. Any living tree that is within one foot of my fence needs to be left standing and unharmed, its roots and branches untouched and its base not covered by or deprived of any soil.

Water flow from the development onto my property: Rainwater currently flows from the developer’s site onto my property along the eastern edge, where my driveway has its lowest elevation. It then collects into a small vale and enters Overall Creek. This water flow needs to continue to occur in this location, over this approximately thirty food spread, as it does now.

Well: I have a well on my site, which we planned to use again in the near future for homesteading and animal husbandry. I am concerned that blasting next door will interrupt the karst flow of water that feeds water to this well.

Heat: The ambient temperature in Asbury Park will rise with the absence of the tall trees in this development. Please request that Landmark use light-colored roofing, such as light tan or white/light gray. Dark roofs create updrafts in winter that rob homes of their heat, and in summer a dark roof heats up the home and the air around it. If possible, please encourage the use of light colored roofs. Changing from black to light gray/white roofing made a big difference for the better in my old house.

Traffic:

The intersection of Hord Road at Old Nashville Hwy, being so close to the bridge over 840, has almost zero line of sight from that direction. Many more cars will need to exit there in the future. Can you increase reflector strips on the bridge and signage warning of the intersection? Are there other actions the city or county could take to improve the situation for drivers exiting Hord Road at ONH?

The intersection of Asbury Road and Old Nashville Hwy often has limited line of sight due to brush. Can this intersection be kept more clear, and its road sign placed to be better seen by traffic on Old Nashville Hwy? Can intersection signs be added from both directions on ONH?

The intersection of Asbury Lane onto Medical Center is already well established as a poor connection, especially if one is exiting to the left. Please make a change that will save lives and reduce the traffic flow problem from Asbury Park. I have three suggestions:

Re-work the timing of the lights at Convention Center Blvd to give people leaving and entering Asbury Lane more opportunity to turn.

Alternately, add a traffic plate trigger on Asbury Lane and a recessed light on the west-bound side, such as is used at Bell Road (in Nashville) before the intersection with the off ramp.

Second alternative, since Asbury Lane is already S curved before meeting Medical Center, please extend the Lane to meet Medical Center further east from where it now meets, and create an intersection that can host a traffic light.

Thank you so much for hearing my concerns. I look forward to attending the planning and council meetings, and hope to speak to you there.

Thank you,

(signed)

3 September 2019

Save My Home?

We attended a developer’s meeting on Monday about a new home building project next to us. I see that the city’s plan to expand the roads (2040) would work well with this development. By “work well” I mean it would save the city time and expense.

My idea would ALSO save both mine and my neighbor’s home. Can I get a thumb’s up? I do not want our homes destroyed!

I hope we can point out to the city of Murfreesboro this simple, easy solution. The new home development will need roads, the city needs this road expansion. This idea of mine would take out a major curve in the proposed road and leave the surrounding homes intact.

Problem is, the director of city planning would not hear this idea. At least not on the first meeting, which one of my neighbors had arranged. The Director ordered him to leave.

Let me say again: this is a simple, easy, faster, less expensive solution to what would otherwise be a long, painful, expensive project for the city. Good all around!

But we need this to get heard!

I need advice? How to communicate as a homeowner and individual, with the city department that holds the fate of my home in its grip? I hear bulldozers in my sleep. The dread is indescribable.

I know that engineers are sensible and logical folk. I need to approach or communicate with them in a way that makes this solution of mine obvious. Because it is!

My suggestion to put the proposed road thru the new development is good for the city and its planners, less expensive, and causes the least harm and destruction to my neighborhood and home. Surely that should go over well?

Advice is welcome! Help me save my home? ❤️

Food! End of the MCLF 2019

A week ago this evening, I ate raw greens for dinner, fresh out of my garden. Basil, wild grape leaves, mustard greens, mint, lemon balm, and hyssop, which I ate with raw apple cider vinegar. It was a bit like chewing a lot of gum, if gum were also a bit stringy. But this was the first necessary step to coming back to normal eating.

Breakfast and lunch were the same on Saturday, and then dinner was fresh fruit: grapes and watermelon. Sunday breakfast and lunch were more watermelon, apple and grapes, but to be honest, the grapes were terribly sweet.

AND THEN, SUNDAY EVENING there was salmon, steamed mixed vegetables, rice pasta in cheese sauce, and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. It was marvellous, even tho I only ate half of it. I should have poured half a glass of wine, a whole glass was too much. The leftovers made a wonderful lunch on Monday. My belly was in perfect shape and I had zero issues eating normally.

The fast was a good experience, over all. From it, I learned I need just one serving of alcohol per day, and that I can handle being hungry but not famished. The lingering cough disappeared, but tinnitus came back full bore. I do not know if my body worked on removing the bones puts in my neck, but I hope so.

I hope to get or build a shoulder stand, so that I can do inversions and increase blood flow to my head and ears. I hope that will address the tinnitus. There has to be some way to heal the inner ear.

Cleanse Fast 2019, days 7 & 8

Wednesday went well. I felt good all day and took several walks.

Started the day with the salt water flush, which worked much better than the herbal tea alone had done. I only had kosher salt, not the recommended sea salt, so I used slightly less than the normal 2 tsp per quart.

Elimination was over within 3 hours. There was not much to eliminate, but my tongue still has the yeast coating. So I am not cleaned out yet.

I admit I am impatient to get this over with; I do not enjoy fasting. Even tho this lemonade makes it possible to get thru the process without going hungry, I miss food SO MUCH.

Another thing that has helped me get thru is honey drinks. Evenings are the most discouraging time, when I am already tired and am used to looking forward to dinner. So, I have taken a heaping tablespoon of honey and dissolved it in warm water to drink. At this point, I am tired of the taste of citrus.

But I am also buoyed by the fact that I am more than halfway thru the process. I hoped to end early but that does not look likely, now. This evening begins the 8th day. I will take my herbal “Smooth Move” tea tonight and make my lemonade for tomorrow. In the morning, I will drink another salt water flush.

Next week will be full of wonderful flavors, incredible things like wine, cheese, green salads, nuts, noodles, vegetables, eggs, fruit. I will savor them like the gods’ own ambrosia. Those days will be here soon.

2019 Cleanse Fast, Days 5 & 6

Two miserable nights in a row, with restless and cramped legs, bad attitude and uncomfortable eliminations convinced me to stop drinking alcohol on the fast. Yes, the book strictly forbids alcohol on the fast, but I figured one drink per day would not be a problem. I am very well hydrated, how could it hurt?

Yesterday (day 6) I drank no alcohol, and last night I slept well and deeply. No problems sleeping or going back to sleep after going to the toilet. Lesson learned!

So far this fast, I have taken the herbal laxative tea rather than doing the salt water flush. It works, but not as well, and I also had some belly cramps using it.

So, this morning I took the salt water flush instead. One quart of filtered water with two teaspoons of kosher salt dissolved in. I took off a pinch or two of the salt, since it was kosher and not sea salt. It took three tries to drink all of it. Then I did my normal morning chores in the garden and feeding the cat, letting the dog out. I was comfortable the entire time.

Elimination began about half an hour later and there was no pain. I am still passing waste, but not a lot.

Today is Wednesday, tonight will wrap up my seventh day of the fast. I am really glad I persevered; these past three days have been rough. Very discouraging. I kept telling myself that this week would go by, and that I have a lot of good things riding on completing this fast.

A symptom of being completely clean is when the yellow yeast on your tongue clears up. That has not happened yet this time, and I only remembered it yesterday when brushing my teeth. I hope to get that signal before Saturday!

Master Cleanser Fast June 2019, days 2 & 3

Finished up the gallbladder and liver flush yesterday, very good results! Got rid of a lot of stones, medium-sized ones, and chaff. That should mean that remaining stones have been loosened up and should come out more easily in the near future. Not that I look forward to the process, but I hope to do it again at least once this year. I need it to lower my bad cholesterol.
One issue I had the last several times I tried to fast was the first days, when my digestive tract still had food in process. Somehow that makes fasting harder; hunger was more persistent even with the lemonade and I just felt VERY fatigued. The gallbladder flush took care of that and actually ruined my appetite for nearly a whole day. Also, I started the laxative herb tea early, which helped make the gallbladder flush work better. The fast also let liver bile build up, which helps force out more gallstones. I thought these processes would work well together, and now I know these process really are complementary.
I nearly quit the fast yesterday (Saturday) evening. I nearly wanted to quit again, this evening! It is hard to stay on course when the day has gotten long. I stopped thinking about the length of the fast, which should be 10 days, and focused on getting thru that moment, that hour.
The healing I need specifically is a list: Tinnitus, the cough that remains from having had the flu two years in a row, bone spurs, and I hope it will heal the knot in my left calf. I suspect that there will be other things I am not even aware of, that will get better. As I write this at the end of my third day, the tinnitus is already feeling quieter and less varied.
I have deviated from the pure fast this time by drinking alcohol and some juices. I make certain to drink water before or at the same sitting as the alcohol, and have mixed juice in with water or alcohol. Also, I have added kombucha and raw apple cider vinegar, to combat the sugar. Sugar feeds yeast (candida albicans) and sends it into overgrowth; kombucha and RACV directly compete with and kill yeast. So far this has worked well, but I may cut out alcohol at some point.
I feel really good, possibly thanks to the gallbladder flush. I have enough energy to go for walks, laugh, get excited, unlike recent attempts to fast. Sleep is better too, and should continue to improve as the fast continues. The gallbladder flush disturbed my sleep the last two nights, but not more than it is usually disturbed. I feel rested and energetic, if grumpy about not getting to eat tasty things. There will be good, tasty food again soon.
I started fasting Thursday afternoon, the 20th. That makes Sunday the 30th my 10th day. Guh, that sounds like forever, and then there is two days to work my way back to real food. Well, I should be super ready to celebrate the 4th!

Litha 2019

Litha 23 June 2019 UUFM
Litha, an Anglo-Saxon word for the month of June. It was also used by JRR Tolkien and thereby gained favor in the Wiccan community. Pagans adopted the term for the Summer Solstice holiday.
At this Solstice, the Earth’s axis tilts the north pole as close as it will come to the Sun’s position. This creates the longest day of the year, and the shortest night for people in the northern half of our world. This is the beginning of Summer.
Astronomical observatories around the world, including Old Stone Fort Archeological Park in Manchester, TN and the world famous Stonehenge in southern England, observe this event. The Sun rises at the farthest point north on the horizon. The following day, it begins to rise further south on the horizon each day. Poetically, returning to its “home” in the Southern quadrant of “fire”.
Astrologically, this holiday begins the sign of Cancer, the crab, the lobster, the pinching hard-shelled, sweet-inside creatures. I used M&M’s to demonstrate cancerian energies in an Astrology class I taught.
The Astrological cycle is the solar, agricultural calendar. It is about 5,000 years old, developed by Babylonians. Babylonians, you see, did not have a Walgreens from which to buy your annual wall calendar. Farming communities needed a device, a mnemonic, to keep people attuned to the intense work of farming. Farming is not a natural way; agriculture coerces the world into giving you what you need, often with excess. Humans grew up as hunter-gatherers, getting what they need from the natural world. Agriculture is artificial, so you need devices like calendars and holidays to keep people engaged.
Cancer is the sign of mothering: nurture, protect, care and feeding. This is the time of year to nurture growing crops. Tend to them, water them, fuss over them as the heat grow intense.
This is the best time of year to harvest and dry medicinal herbs. The leaves are full grown and still contain theri effective compounds and essential oils. Those get used up dealing with heat, and also with developing seeds. Cut, bundle and hang them to dry out of direct sun and rain. Usually they are dry enough to store after 3 days.
Water your animals, too. They also need care in summer’s heat. In fact, this is a good time of year to nurture your own self. Relax, enjoy nature in its fullest growth. Rest, take vacation (perhaps to the beach!) Watch butterflies, lightning bugs, dragonflies and birds.
If you cannot stand hot weather, try eating spicy food every day. It can help you build your heat tolerance. Thai, Indian, Mexican cuisines are meant to help people deal with hot weather.
To best grasp the essence of this holiday, I want you to imagine sunlight sparkling on water. *~*~*~*
Wiccans know that at this holiday, the Oak King is defeated by the Holly King, in their eternal struggle for dominance. Oak rules as daylight grows, and sees to the budding of springtime. Holly, who rules when daylight wanes, will lose again at Yule, the Winter Solstice.
This is the time of year to honor your wells, your water source. Humans are fascinated by sparkling things – glitter, jewelry, suncatchers – because in the wild we have a real need to find and recognize water sources.
This is a time of year to honor the fae, your land spirits. They are heady with joy at this height of wilderness growth.
This is the time of year to honor the Sun, by whatever name you call it. Lugh, Apollo, Ukko, Ra, Nyame, Surya, Amaterasu, Enulanuhi, Xi He, just a few names. Also keep in mind that most pantheons have more than one deity associated with the Sun: the orb itself, its controller, its admirer, its primary magician or astronomer, its positions thru out the day.
How does one honor a well, a water source? Traditionally with flowers, branches that demonstrate growth, ribbons or rags (perhaps washing rags?), pins and jewelry. Create a water source for wildlife, if you can: a birdbath, rain garden, or small pond.
I wonder, tho, if the jewelry was a gift begging the well to produce during drought. Wells are treasure troves for archaeologists, and I think the archeologists are correct in this case, when they surmise an act to be religious.
How does one honor the fae? First, show respect. They are ancient and have long memories. If you wish to visit them, visit during the “between” times of day: dawn, sunset, midnight. Take good care of your gardens, trees, and property; the best care you can give. The fae know if you are doing your best. Do not cause unnecessary harm to insects or small animals. Plant things that attract those bees, butterflies and birds I suggested you watch, earlier. Bless your own land with offerings of cream, honey, shiny or bright-colored beads or candies. I am told they love jelly beans.
How does one honor the Sun? Watch the sunrise, use suncatchers, dance in spirals, spin, set out pinwheels, dress in yellow and orange. At Yule, we keep watch during the long night to see the Sun rise again. At Litha, spend the day outside if we can, and watch the sun set as well. Eat round, yellow cookies like vanilla cremes or lemon cookies, drink herb tea, set out a bowl of water to reflect the sunlight.
How do Americans celebrate? Did you know that Americans celebrate this holiday? We are a Cancerian nation, our national birthdate is the 4th of July. Our culture values motherhood, protectiveness, home life. We like to celebrate this time of year with cookouts, reunions, music, bright colored clothes, fireworks, swimming.
Other cultures celebrate, too. Many build bonfires, but to me it seems that nearly every festival involves a bonfire. One tradition is for young people to jump over the fire to capture the prosperity of this time of year. (Mostly, only the young people will do this.) Catholics honor St John the Baptist – again, water and light.
Litha is a time of prosperity and abundance. I recommend you bundle up your good things, and enjoy them.

Fasting: Day 1

It has been at least a decade since I fasted more than one day. I have not decided how l long I will do, this time, but I am already thru the first 24 hours, now.

I had a glass of wine and some kombucha Thursday night, and a herb tea. The tea is laxative, because without food to push out waste, it does not leave your system. The tea killed my appetite, which was kind of nice.

Got thru the day with about 500 calories worth of maple lemonade, a big cup of black tea and a lot of water. Took a couple of short walks, felt ok except quite hungry several times.

My bad cholesterol has gotten high in the last 4 to 5 years – my husband loves to cook with butter and we eat eggs and cheese every day. So I am in the midst of the liver and gallbladder flush, too. It has done me a lot of good in the past, adduced my mother’s bad cholesterol, considerably.

But it is not pleasant…requires drinking Epsom salts for one thing. HORRIBLE. This will all be over in a day, and I will feel much better.